EJ Obiena finishes fourth in return
MANILA, Philippines—EJ Obiena started his 2022 campaign by finishing fourth in the ISTAF Indoor Saturday (Manila time) at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany.
Still trying to regain his form after coming off knee surgery last month, Obiena only managed to clear 5.70m and faltered at 5.81m—far from his personal best of 5.93m which is also the Asian standard.
World record holder Armand Duplantis took home the gold with a 6.03m clearance, American KC Lightfoot came second at 5.92m while Oleg Zernikel secured the bronze with his best indoor performance at 5.81m.
With the gold already in the bag, Duplantis tried to set a new world record at 6.19m and came painstakingly close to doing so.
“I’m at a point in my career where I’m progressing in small steps. I know what I have to do, I have all the pieces of the puzzle to beat my personal record,” said the 22-year-old Swedish superstar.
Obiena is set to compete in for four more tournaments this month with the International Pole Vault Invitational next on February 9 in Uppsala, Sweden.